GILBERT, Ariz. - The University of Connecticut field hockey team enters the 2017 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship this weekend as the No. 1 overall seed after completing an unbeaten regular season on their way to claiming the top spot for the ninth-consecutive week in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Coaches Poll on Tuesday.
The Huskies garnered an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning its sixth-straight BIG EAST Conference Championship. UConn posted back-to-back shutouts win in the tournament, taking down Providence and Liberty to record its NCAA-leading 10th and 11th shutouts, respectively, off the fall.
The other three seeded teams in the NCAA tourney follow the Huskies in the ranking, with Duke at No. 2, Michigan at No. 3 and North Carolina at No. 4 to mimic the seeds each squad holds for the postseason. Virginia filled out the top five in the final poll.
Nationally, UConn ranks at the top in seven different NCAA statistical categories. Along with being the only remaining unbeaten team, UConn ranks first in goals per game (4.79), assists per game (4.58), points per game (14.16), scoring average (4.75), goals against average (0.52) and scoring margin (4.23). In addition, the Huskies rank second in save percentage (0.836) and in shutouts with 12, while ranking third in penalty corners per game (9.21).
The Huskies will play their opening round game tilt against the winner of the play-in game between MAAC Champions Fairfield and Patriot League Champions Boston University at the Sherman-Family Complex in Storrs on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Tickets for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament can be purchased at the field one hour prior to the start of each game- $3 for children under 18 years of age and $5 for adults. UConn students will recieve free admission with a valid UConn ID.
Defending national champions Delaware will challenge Penn State in Saturday's other first-round game set to begin at 2 p.m. ET following the conclusion of the UConn and Fairfield/Boston University matchup.
The winners of Saturday's games will advance to the second-round contest on Sunday, Nov. 12 at a time to be determined, also at the Sherman-Family Complex in Storrs.
The winner of the second round tilt will advance to the NCAA Final Four, which will be played in Louisville, Ky. The University of Louisville will host the semifinals and final on Friday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 19, at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.